Dear Mr. Muljroney:
I have just read the text of your letter to Mr. Rajiv Gandhi published by The Globe & Mail (11th July) as their lead editorial. Your faith in us Sikhs gladdens my heart and I would like you to know that I share with you the anguish that the disaster must have caused to your fellow Canadians. I have prayed for strength to those who have to bear the loss. I have followed the investigation so far as closely as I can and feel insulted that while the experts on the spot have found no evidence of a bomb explosion aboard Air India flight 182, the Government of India in the persona of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi holds us Sikhs responsible for such an explosion. In the omnipotent atmosphere of Bombay, he may be able to cause it now that the black box and the voice recorder are both there. I admire your restraint and understand your anger at the stance of Mr. Gandhi when the fact is that Air India itself breached security requirement at Montreal.
You have hit the nail on its head. It is the lack of basic democracy in India despite its noble sentiments and exhaustive Constitution which has given rise to the Sikh anguish. The sanctuary offered to us in Canada has a long tradition and we appreciate it. I would like to assure you, Mr. Prime Minister, we Sikhs are soldiers, not terrorists. However, when we are blamed for everything that goes wrong in the context of India, we begin to feel like Christians in Roman times. You are so right in telling Mr. Gandhi of the Canadian experience that if the legitimate demands of a community are met, there remains no further ground for any ‘extremism.’ But then, India is not looking for solutions. It is searching for scapegoats. Many Sikhs have given up the turban and the beard, yet we remain the most visible minority of the subcontinent. It would be presumptuous on my part to tell you of the programs against Sikhs in recent times but I would very much like to place before you the reality as Sikhs see it knowing that officially you are fully briefed on the issue. I cannot do it in person as I am denied visa facilities. Hence the accompanying paper.
I pray for your good health and would consider it both a privilege as well as pleasure to meet you in person. In the meanwhile, I remain dedicated to the cause of peace and, Mr. Prime Minister, at your command.
Jagjit Singh Chohan,
Republic of Khalistan.
Article extracted from this publication >> July 26, 1985